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Sir H. View your own charms, madam, then judge my passion. Ang. If your words be real, 'tis in your power to raise an equal flame in me. Sir H. Nay, then, I seize - - Ang. Hold, sir; ’tis also possible to make me detest and scorn you worse than the most profligate of your deceiving sex. Sir H. Ha! a very odd turn this. I hope, madam, you only affect anger, because you know your frowns are becoming. Ang. Sir Harry, you being the best judge of your own designs, can best understand whether my anger should be real or dissembled; think what strict modesty should bear, then judge of my resentment. Sir H. Strict modesty should bear ! Why, ‘faith, madam, I believe the strictest modesty may bear fifty
guineas, and I don’t believe 'twill bear one farthing n101’e.
Ang. What d'ye mean, sir? Sir H. Nay, madam, what do you mean? If you go to that. I think now, fifty guineas is a fine offer for your strict modesty, as you call it. Ang. I'm afraid you’re mad, sir. Sir H. Why, madam, you’re enough to make any man mad. 'Sdeath, are you not a Ang. What, sir? Sir H. Why, a lady of—strict modesty, if you will. have it so. Ang. I shall never hereafter trust common report, which represented you, sir, a man of honour, wit, and breeding; for I find you very deficient in them all three. [Erit. Sir H. Now I find, that the strict pretences, which the ladies of pleasure make to strict modesty, is the reason why those of quality are ashamed to wear it.
Wizard. Ah! Sir Harry, have I caught you? Well, and what success? Sir H. Success 'Tis a shame for you young fellows in town here, to let the wenches grow so saucy. I offered her fifty guineas, and she was in her airs presently, and flew away in a huff. I could have had a brace of countesses in Paris for half the money, and je vous remercie into the bargain. Wizard. Gone in her airs, say you? and did not you follow her : Sir H. Whither should I follow her? Wizard. Into her bedchamber, man; she went on purpose. You a man of gallantry, and not understand that a lady’s best pleased when she puts on her airs, as you call it! Sir H. She talked to me of strict modesty and stuff. Wizard. Certainly. Most women signify their modesty, for the same reason that cowards boast their courage—because they have least on't. Come, come, | Sir Harry, when you make your next assault, encourage your spirits with brisk burgundy: if you succeed, 'tis well; if not, you have a fair excuse for your rudeness. I’ll go in and make your peace for what’s past. Oh, I had almost forgot Colonel Standard wants to speak with you about some business. Sir H. I’ll wait upon him presently ; d'ye know where he may be found 3 Wizard. In the piazza of Covent Garden, about an hour hence, I promised to see him : and there you may meet him—to have your throat cut. [Aside.] I’ll go in and intercede for you. s Sir H. But no foul play with the lady, Wizard. [Exit. Wizard. No fair play, I can assure you. [Brit. E
a SCENE III,
The Street before LADY LUREWELL’s Lodgings.
CLINCHER SENIOR, and LUREwBLL, coquetting in , the Balcony.—Enter STANDARD.
Colonel S. How weak is reason in disputes of love : I’ve heard her falsehood with such pressing proofs, that I no longer should distrust it. Yet still my love would baffle demonstration, and make impossibilities seem probable. [Looks up.] Ha! That fool too ! What, stoop so low as that animal 2–'Tis true, women once fallen, like cowards in despair, will stick at nothing; there's no medium in their actions. They must be bright as angels, or black as fiends. But now for my revenge; I'll kick her cully before her face, call her whore, curse the whole sex, and leave her.
Lady L. Can't you think of any thing, sir?
Clinch. Sen. Think, not I; I never could think to any purpose in my life.
Lady L. What do you want, sir?
Enter ToM ERRAND.
Tom, Madam, I am looking for Sir Harry Wildair; I saw him come in here this morning; and did imagine he might be here still, if he is not gone. Lady L. A lucky hit! Here, friend, change clothes with this gentleman, quickly, strip. Clinch, sen. Ay, ay, quickly strip: I’ll give you half-a-crown to boot. Come here; so. [They change Clothes. Lady L. Now slip you [To CiiNCH. Senior.] down stairs, and wait at the door till my husband be gone; and get you in there [To ToM ERRAND..] till I call you. - [Puts ERRAND in the next Room.
Enter ColoneL STANDARD.
Oh, sir, are you come 2 I wonder, sir, how you have the confidence to approach me, after so base a trick. Colonel S. Oh, madam, all your artifices won’t avail. Lady L. Nay, sir, your artifices won’t avail. I thought, sir, that I gave you caution enough against troubling me with Sir Harry Wildair’s company, when I sent his letters back by you; yet you, forsooth, must tell him where I lodged, and expose me again to his impertinent courtship ! Colonel S. I expose you to his courtship ! Lady L. I’ll lay my life you’ll deny it now. Come, come, sir: a pitiful lie is as scandalous to a red coat, as an oath to a black one. Colonel S. You’re all lies; first your heart is false; your eyes are double; one look belies another; and then your tongue does contradict them all—Madam,
I see a little devil just nowhammering out a lie in your pericranium. - Lady L. As I hope for mercy, he's in the right on’t 1 [Aside. Colonel S. Yes, yes, madam, I exposed you to the courtship of your fool Clincher, too; I hope your female wiles will impose that upon me also, Lady L. Clincher Nay, now you’re stark mad. I know no such person. Colonel S. Oh, woman in perfection! not know him! *Slife, madam, can my eyes, my piercing jealous eyes, be so deluded ? Nay, madam, my nose could not mistake him; for I smelt the fop by his pulvilio, from the balcony down to the street. Lady L. The balcony has has hat the balcony I’ll be hanged but he has mistaken Sir Harry Wildair’s footman, with a new French livery, for a beau. Colonel S ’Sqeath, madam what is there in me that looks like a cully Did I not see him Lady L. No, no, you could not see him; you’re dreaming, colonel. Will you believe your eyes, }. * I have rubbed them open —Here, you riend.
Enter ToM ERRAND, in CLINCHER SENIOR’s Clothes. Colonel S. This is illusion all; my eyes conspire against themselves. 'Tis legerdemain. Lady L. Legerdemain Is that all your acknowledgment for your rude behaviour 3–Oh, whata curse is it to love as I do!—Begone, sir, [ToToM ERRAND..] to your impertinent master, and tell him I shall never be at leisure to receive any of his troublesome visits. —Send to me to know, when I should be at home – Begone, sir. [Exit ToM ERRAND..] I am sure he has made me an unfortunate woman. [Weeps. Colonel S. Nay, then there is no certainty in nature; and truth is only falsehood well disguised.